Know Your Smoke 101

Fire damages are complex due to the unique nature of different types of smoke. Some things you may not know about smoke:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Once at a fire scene, a SERVPRO Professional tests the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.

Types of Smoke:

  • Wet Smoke Residues result from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are sticky and smeary with a pungent odor. Smoke webs can be difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke Residues result from fast burning fires at high temperatures. Residues are normally dry, powdery, small, nonsmeary smoke particles.
  • Protein Residues are virtually invisible residues that discolor paints and varnishes. They have an extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot occur when furnaces puff back, distributing fuel oil soot.
  • Other Types of Residue include tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residues, all requiring cleanup.
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